URL introduces new products

The Chronicle

Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
DIVERSIFIED agro-processing company, United Refineries Limited (URL), has introduced new products to expand its domestic and export market footprint in line with the value addition thrust.

The Bulawayo-headquartered firm has added stockfeed production on top of fortified mealie-meal, cooking oil and soap making, among its range of products.

URL human resources manager, Mr Lungisani Dube, said their new product, Nutripro, caters for poultry and livestock farmers.

“We have a range of products that we call Nutripro and we are doing for chickens as we look into starters and finisher,” said Mr Dube.

“We are also venturing into piggery and we will also look into cattle later. So, we are having a whole department that will be doing stock feeds.”

He said the Nutripro unit is still at developmental phase and revealed the company has already established some relationships with distributors for the new product to be able to access customers.

URL’s main line of production is cooking oil and their major input is soya bean and cotton seed.

The company also produces mealie-meal under the Unity brand, washing bar and Image bathing soap.

Briefing members of the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) economic committee during a tour of the factory at Kelvin industrial area on Monday, Mr Dube said large quantities of meal were in their warehouses as the market is flooded with stocks.

He said while the stock feed unit has started moving, the volumes remain subdued due to the impact of cheap imported products. Under its Unity mealie-meal brand URL has also added rice packaging and is already supplying these on the market.

Mr Dube said the new products were generating positive market response and the company expects to reap more proceeds from their sale.

“If we look at our new products, they have good reception at the market wherever we have placed them we haven’t had problems,” he                                                                                        said.

Mr Dube said their major challenge was limited supply of inputs such as maize, soya bean and cotton seed leaving the company with no option but to resort to importing, which also brings in the problem of accessing foreign currency.

Earlier, URL chief executive officer, Mr Busisa Moyo, told the Polad members that the company was receiving support from the Government’s forex auction system but raised concern over delays in disbursements of the funds.

He also said the percentage of funding they were accessing through the forex auction system was less than their requirements. — @SikhuleklaniM1

Article Source: The Chronicle

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